Are any open source projects too big to lose

The pending purchase of Sun by Oracle will leave the proprietary database king in clear charge of open source's crown jewels. So what?

The pending purchase of Sun by Oracle will leave the proprietary database king in clear charge of open source's crown jewels.

These are among the most widely-used projects, and among those with the largest developer communities outside Linux itself.

There is skepticism about whether Oracle can manage these assets properly, worry that they might be treated as "cash cows," even concerns license terms might be changed to suit the new parent.

Would the loss of any or all of these projects be "fatal" to the open source movement? As I have noted before, they can all be forked. But a fork would require the establishment of new organizations around each project, built from scratch, and the reconstruction of relations within each community.

This is not to say Sun has been a great parent. Critics have called it paternalistic, controlling, stingy with its financial or employee support. Critics have charged it has managed these projects for its own benefit, a software Mommie Dearest.

Were Oracle to do the same it would be business as usual.

But should Oracle be trusted?  Oracle offers its own Linux distro, Sun's OpenSolaris is fruit of the same tree as Linux. Oracle has made noises about treating these assets with care, and said it values them.

So what if it doesn't? Would the loss, through forking or starvation, of these projects be a big, small, or medium-sized disaster for open source?

I'm just asking the questions. You need to come up with the answers.